The St Paul’s Bells Appeal of the Turners’ Company was launched by Master Andrew Neill on 28 February at the 71st Richard Gardner Williams Commemoration Banquet. He said:
“By raising £30,000, the Turners’ Company is continuing its long association with the bells of St Paul’s Cathedral and helping to preserve this iconic symbol of the City of London for future generations.
One hundred and forty years ago on All Saints’ Day 1878, the twelve bells in the north-west tower of St Paul’s Cathedral were dedicated and rung for the first time.
Four of the bells were gifted by the Turners’ Company, supported by Honorary Freeman Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts. Earlier this year, the bells were taken down for refurbishment back in Loughborough, where they were originally cast and turned.
The £30,000 that the Turners’ Company will raise through its St Paul’s Bells Appeal is one-twelfth of the cost of this year’s restoration of the bells.
In addition to the Turners’ Company, the restoration is also being funded by many other generous donations. These include: gifts from the Corporation of the City of London; the six other livery companies who also gave the bells; bell ringing charities; and individual bell ringers, including the Cathedral’s own company.
The Bells of St Paul’s
This year is only the third occasion in their history that the bells have been silent for any length of time.
However, the towers of St Paul’s will not be entirely quiet during the restoration. The clock bells, including Great Tom in the south-west tower, will continue to sound, as will the original service bell which dates from 1700.
During the bells’ restoration, the timber bell frame will be strengthened to preserve it for many more years. The ringing room, where the bell ringers stand, will be fitted with better lighting. The historic records of the peals that have been rung at significant moments in history will also be restored.
The twelve bells will return with new headstocks and fittings in time for a rededication on All Saints Day (1st November 2018). This will be closely followed by the bells playing a leading role in the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day on Sunday 11th November.
The ceremony of rededicating the bells will be coordinated by St Paul’s in conjunction with all the fund-raising organisations. When confirmed, details of this historic event will be provided to Turners’ Company members.
About the St Paul’s Bells Appeal
The Turners’ Company is asking all its members to make an exceptional donation to the commensurate with their means.
The Appeal is through the Turners’ Charitable Trust and benefits from Gift Aid.
An amount of £100 – £250 is suggested.
There is no upper limit on individual contributions and donors of larger gifts will be recorded as:
Silver Benefactors for amounts of £250 – £500
Gold Benefactors for £600 or more.
Three easy ways to make a donation:
Online through the Turners’ Charitable Trust page for this appeal.
Search for ‘Turners’ at www.mydonate.bt.com.
Bank transfer to the Turners’ Charitable Trust: Sort code 20-32-37 Account: 70988774
Please identify that your donation is for ‘WCT Bells’.
Cheque made out to: ‘Turners’ Charitable Trust (St Paul’s Bells)’.
Please send this to: The Clerk, The Turners’ Company, Skinners’ Hall, 8 Dowgate Hill, London EC2R 2SP.
More information and downloads:
The St Paul’s Bells Appeal
Past Master John Bridgeman is Chairman of the St Paul’s Bells Appeal committee. Contact John Bridgeman about the Appeal and activities linked to St Paul’s Bells by email: (but with no spaces in his email address): js_bridgeman @ yahoo.co.uk
The history of church bells
St Paul’s Bells Appeal A4 leaflet
> Download print at home PDF file (270 KB)
> Download high resolution PDF file (1.3 MB)
St Paul’s skyline: Graham Lacdao / St Paul’s Cathedral
All other photos: Liveryman Stuart King